I don't know what happened this morning but it was utter chaos. The rain had been relentless over the last three days and probably more to come in the following few, but here in my hometown of Stockton, it seems that when it rains people lose their minds. Accidents all over the place, sirens non-stop, tree debree EVERYWHERE and power outages which meant very long lines due to non-functional traffic lights. And all I wanted to do today was purchase some comics and mail a textbook off to someone in Ohio. Why did this take almost 2 hours to accomplish I have no idea??
As if the days events couldn't get anymore annoying and treacherous the post office next to my apartment was closed due to the outage; so once again off into the void as I headed to the next nearest one located next to the Mecca of used record stores. As I waited for far longer than was necessary (if only the post office would keep enough staff to handle the demand) I decided to head next door to cool off and relax.
I went in looking for some Velvet Underground (Loaded and VU, the two I do not have) and was not able to find them here at this wonderful shop of delights. The urge to hit the loo crept upon me to further destroy my chances of a glimmering ray of hope of some satisfaction for this wretched day, so I timidly walked out distraught. I do not know why I asked but it had been on my mind for almost three months now. As I headed to the door I asked the owner, Willie, if he could recommend 60's-70's psychedelic records since my resources are incredibly limited and I had already purchased the ones I did know.
Boy did his eyes light up. He not only recommended we talked for about an hour over this genre. He fired off band after band after band and he soon got a pen and began writing this list of pure trippiness and awesomeness.
The urge to pee...gone. The gloominess of a day with a weather system gone manic and wreaking havoc on my poor town quickly lightened up as he handed me over the list that I shall never lose track of. The list contained some usual suspects as The Doors and Grateful Dead, but he listed off so many artists that I had never even heard of and I was very excited to begin to them up. As far as the Dead go with a catalog of a million records where does one start? We quickly went over to the section and he picked out for me their third album, aoxomoxoa.
I was holding pure gold in my hand. He soon looked for the Dead's second album, Anthem of the Sun but alas he had already sold it. But after a very brief moment of silence for the record passed away, he again dove into the pile and dug up one he felt represented the Grateful Dead the best, Live Dead.
But Willie wasn't done; a man who had become possessed with the joy of sharing the music he grew up with with me had overtaken him. We were soon off scrounging around for more and he soon stumbled upon H.P. Lovecraft.
I had never heard of this band but from his excitement in finding the album, it didn't even matter; the album artwork looked gorgeous and at this point I wanted to buy his entire store. He made one more recommendation for me, this time coming off the list. I had mentioned in our earlier discussion that I loved the modern psychedelic scene going on the San Francisco so in no time at all he brought up an album from Quicksilver Messenger Service, a true and true San Franciscan psych band; I could not wait to get home.
Once we were all finished I pocketed the list in my back pocket and we walked to the register, still talking about music as he put on Steppenwolf. I mentioned some of the newer, younger bands out there who I felt could represent psyche music but never be exactly what came before. The times were different and people were different. That era is true and gone but the impact it had made on music still stands tall. The music means so many things to different people, watching Willie lose himself in Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride (the freaked out original version, not the edited pure pop radio version played on a million commercials these days) as he went back to being 8 years old, I got what this music means listening to the organ and guitars pierce in and out. It is about self expression, breaking down the boundaries of what had been established, closing your eyes and opening your mind to the world. I understood what made this music so special. I walked out of the store with a smile as sunshine finally broke through the clouds, this was the best $23 I have ever spent.